Ms. Bethany S. Ward
Director of Religious Education
Bethany grew up the daughter of deeply religious parents in mid-Ohio and later spent her early adulthood raising her three children with her husband in Cleveland. In 1997, while seeking a religious home to nurture the spiritual lives of their children, Bethany found that the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland gave their family that very opportunity. To her delight, she also found that her own love of their newly adopted faith tradition would eventually blossom into a deeply rewarding career.
Bethany served First Unitarian first as a Religious Education teacher, then as the chairperson to the Youth Religious Education Committee. It was in this role that she changed her college major from Psychology to Religious Studies and voraciously pursued a professional career in liberal religious education.
She has served the Olmsted Unitarian Universalist Congregation as Director of Lifespan Faith Development and is currently pursuing Religious Education Credentialing through the RE Credentialing program of the UUA. She is also a member of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA).
Four years ago, Bethany and her family moved to an historic farmhouse in Bath Township, Oh, to cooperatively use the principles of permaculture to cultivate a small homestead. It is here where they now happily live and grow together, sharing their farmette with their large and beloved menagerie.
Office hours: Monday, 1:00-5:00 (telecommute); Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:30-3:00 (in office); Thursday, by appointment; Friday, off; Saturday, by appointment; Sunday, 8:30-3:00 (in office).
216-751-2320 Ext. 29
Mr. Doug Aubin
Doug has been Administrator since 2004. He previously held a similar position at Woodline Products in Painesville, Ohio for 13 years. As the staff member in charge of day to day operations of the church building, Doug is the person to call about renting space at the church.
Office hours: Monday - Thursday, 7:00 to 2:00; Sunday 9:00 to 1:00 pm
216-751-2320 Ext. 26
Miss Christine Kozlevcar
Chris has been Office Manager since 1989. Prior to coming to this church she worked in the printing and graphic art field for six years. She produces the newsletter, order of service and publicity materials for committees. She is the one to call to schedule church events on the church calendar.
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30
216-751-2320 Ext. 25
Ms. Fern Jennings
Director of Music
Fern has been Director of Music since 2004. She previously served as Co-Director of Music at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River from 1993 to 2004. Prior to that she served as organist at churches in Alliance and Akron, Ohio. She has a B.A. in Music from Case Western Reserve University (1996), where she studied organ with Todd Wilson. She also has a B.A. in Individual and Family Development from Kent State University (1986). Fern is currently Dean of the Cleveland Chapters of the American Guild of Organists and also AGO Region V Coordinator for Education and Exams. In addition to providing piano and organ music for Sunday services, Fern directs the Chancel Choir and the Women's Ensemble. She also administers the church music program.
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10:00 to 3:00
216-751-2320 Ext. 23
Mrs. Kathie Kitchingham
Kathie has been Membership Coordinator since 1995 and a member of the church since 1959. Previous to this position she was R.E. Assistant for 28 years. She welcomes newcomers each Sunday and is in charge of Newcomer Orientations. She addresses the needs of church members and friends and helps them find a place in the congregation. She is the person to contact to schedule a wedding at the church.
Office hours: Sunday-Thursday, 9:00 to 1:00
216-751-2320 Ext. 27
Religious Education Assistant
Persephone was hired as our the Religious Education Assistant in 2014. She assists our D.R.E. in the running of the Sunday morning youth programs. Please contact her if you have any questions regarding our Youth Religious Education Program or to register your children.
216-751-2320 Ext. 28
Mr. Duncan Tanner, Development Director
Duncan Tanner, Jr. is in his 29th year of fundraising, serving numerous non-profits as both consultant and development director, and is pleased to be First Unitarian's director of development. He has directed numerous capital, endowment and annual campaigns, raising well over $100 million for churches, human service, cultural and educational organizations. Duncan has also led some 100 workshops, retreats and webinars on topics including strategic planning, board and volunteer organization, major gift cultivation and solicitation, and program promotion.
A single father, voracious reader, and proud – if somewhat misguided - supporter of the Cleveland Browns, Duncan lives in Akron with three sons and one very large dog.
Annual Killam Fellow
Every summer, for six weeks in July and August, the congregation hosts a student minister. S/he conducts six Sunday services, offers an adult ed course or two, does visitation, keeps office hours, and performs other duties as directed by the Parish Minister. Each Killam Fellow brings a unique perspective and style, and is a welcome, albeit temporary, addition to our staff.